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Late Game Comeback Falls Short for No. 17 Wilmington, 6-5, Under the Lights at St. Thomas (Fla.)

Base: St. Thomas (Fla.) 6 - #17 Wilmington 5

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - Miami Gardens, Fla.

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Senior Josh Hampton batted 3-for-5 with a run scored at St. Thomas (Fla.) on Wednesday night. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved



Junior Jon Castro batted 3-for-5 with a run scored at St. Thomas (Fla.) on Wednesday night. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo credit: Ellen O'Brien, CACC

A two-run rally in the top of the ninth wasn’t enough as the Wilmington University baseball team left the tying run at second, falling to St. Thomas (Fla.), 6-5, on Wednesday night at Paul D. Mainieri Field.

After capturing their first five games to start the season, the 17th ranked Wildcats (5-2 overall) dropped two in a row to begin their annual trip to Florida. The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Bobcats (16-7 overall).

The Wildcats jumped out to a an early 3-0 lead after the first three innings, scoring a single run in the second and adding two more in the third. Brody Tennant gave the Wildcats their first run of the game on a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Matt Lopes from third. Sam Goines hit an RBI single in the third before Josh Hampton made it 3-0 by scoring on an error by the catcher attempting to throw out Goines stealing second.

Starting pitcher Chris Lopez worked out of a two-hit jam in the second, and tossed 1-2-3 innings in the first, third, and fourth innings, keeping the Wildcats in front going into the bottom of the fifth.

Lopez gave up an RBI groundout, giving the Bobcats their first run of the game but gave the Wildcats two outs and the bases empty. St. Thomas responded with four straight hits and a walk, scoring two more runs and taking a 4-3 lead after five complete innings.

The Bobcats were able to add two more in the bottom of the seventh on a dropped fly ball with two outs, putting the Wildcats in a 6-3 hole late in the contest.

Down to its last at-bat, Wilmington tried to come all the way back in the top of the ninth inning. Jon Castro completed his three-hit night with a lead-off single, followed by an infield single by Josh Swirchak. Hampton singled into left field for his third hit of the night, loading the bases with no outs, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate.

The Bobcats brought in Eric Santamaria to work out of the jam, and he quickly put down the first two batters he faced to bring the Wildcats to their final out.

Freshman Mike Jerminski stepped to the plate as a pinch hitter and lined a ball back up the middle and into centerfield, easily scoring Castro and Swirchak without a throw. But with the tying run on second, Santamaria got Joe Marciano swinging for the final out of the game, giving the 6-5 victory to the home team.

Castro and Hampton led the offense by each going 3-for-5 with a run scored while Swirchak, Lopes, and Mike Annone added two hits apiece in the effort.

The Wildcats get right back action on their Florida trip, looking to snap their two-game losing skid on Thursday. They square off against Southern Connecticut State in a doubleheader at the Santaluces Sports Complex starting at 12 p.m.